Essential Do’s and Don’ts for Your Garbage Disposal

Many home owners consider their garbage disposal to be an essential appliance in their kitchen. This handy kitchen device can be a great way to keep your kitchen hygienic and clean. However, many home owners give their garbage disposal very little consideration until it develops an issue and fails to perform. In many cases, these issues can be prevented by adhering to some basic yet essential do’s and don’ts.

The Do’s

Keep it clean:

Many people neglect their garbage disposal when cleaning their kitchen. Although some people advocate pouring soap into the disposal, this can cause a soap scum to accumulate in the disposal. It is better to flush out the disposal with running water and ensure that any pieces of food debris have been washed away.

Run the disposal regularly:

Using the disposal infrequently can allow rust or corrosion to develop. By using your disposal regularly you can reduce this risk and ensure that the moving parts are kept in working order. Regular running of the disposal can also prevent accumulations of debris or obstructions from coming up through the disposal.

Run cold water when the disposal is functioning:

You should always run a cold flow of water when your disposal is functioning. Using cold water can assist the grinding of food matter. It can also solidify any grease or oils and allow them to be chopped before they can accumulate in the trap. You should cut large pieces of food debris into smaller chunks and avoid throwing them into the disposal in one go.

Use citrus peelings to freshen the disposal:

To neutralize the drain smell in your disposal you can grind up citrus peelings such as oranges or lemons. This can deodorize the drain and keep it smelling fresh.

Clean the trap regularly:

The grease trap in your drain collects grease and oil from the debris ground up by the disposal. Over time this trap can become full and begin to become rancid if it is not emptied and cleaned. Most domestic grease traps are easy to remove, clean and replace.

The Don’ts

Use it as a trash can:

Garbage disposals are not designed to be a trash can. It has been designed to grind up food debris and scraps. By putting inappropriate items in the disposal such as glass, plastic, paper or metal you can cause damage to the blades and compromise the system.

Pour oil, fat or grease into the disposal:

All types of grease and oil can accumulate within the garbage disposal and cause a clog in the drain. Even smaller amounts of grease can cause a sticky residue which will attract other food particles and build into an obstruction within the pipe.

Grind fibrous materials:

Some foods are particularly fibrous and should not be put into your garbage disposal. The fibers from corn husks, celery stalks and onion skins can jam the motor of your disposal and cause a blockage in your drain.

Grind starchy materials:

Potato peelings and pasta can be extremely starchy. This starch creates a thick paste which can adhere to the blades of the disposal and cause them to stick. Additionally, this sticky paste can also attract other food particles which can encourage clogs to accumulate.

Turn off the water as soon as you finish grinding:

You should always allow the flow of cold water to run while the disposal is operating. However, many people immediately turn off the water. This is a mistake. You should allow the water to run for another ten to fifteen seconds to flush any particles remaining from the system.

If you would like to know more about caring for your garbage disposal, or need assistance with a garbage disposal problem, contact Scott English Plumbing. We provide specialist expertise in all aspects of plumbing including garbage disposals and would be delighted to help.